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vmware tools wont open on windows 2008 r2 server with vmcontrolpanel.cpl is not a valid win32 application error

Posted on 2016-11-02
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Last Modified: 2016-11-03
I have esxi 4.1.0 that is running 2 windows 2008 r2 64 bit terminal server VM's. When logged in as any user including the domain administrator and opening VMware tools from task bar - it gives the following error:

c:\program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\VMContolPanel.cpl is not a valid win32 application

not much on google about this - does anyone have any ideas?
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Question by:IT_Field_Technician
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by:John Hurst
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I suggest you reinstall the VMware Tools from the ESX VMware Menu. Either that or try reinstalling from the guest.
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by:IT_Field_Technician
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Thanks John I have already tried:

uninstalling from the guest through add remove programs>uninstall

rebooted VM

Installed VMware tools via ESXI VMware menu

rebooted VM

Still get same error when trying to open VMware tools!
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by:IT_Field_Technician
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I also see in esxi that under VMware tools: it said "OK" and when I click view all link it shows the vm ip v4 and v6 ip addresses with no problems so its seems to be properly installed but I cant access the VMware tools menu for some reason.

I read here:

https://communities.vmware.com/message/2149953

that at some point VMware discontinued the VMware menu in windows but im not sure if this is that case - anyone got any more info on this?
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by:John Hurst
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Perhaps first completely uninstall the Tools, restart the Server (at a convenient moment) and then install again.

Tools (in my experience) always install the correct version for the guest machine.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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that at some point VMware discontinued the VMware menu in windows but im not sure if this is that case - anyone got any more info on this?

that is correct, there is no longer any options to configure VMware Tools, and there has not been for a while.

This is VMware Tools for VMware vSphere.

What are you trying to configure ?
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by:John Hurst
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Even given your good counsel above, the Tools should not error out. That is why I suggested properly uninstalling and reinstalling.
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by:John Hurst
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@ IT_Field_Technician - I am looking at a proper installation of VMware Tools and they do not show up in Control Panel (they cannot be configured or run as Andrew pointed out).

Did you get the Tools originally from VMware or from a third party site.

I would definitely uninstall what you have and start again with the VMware site.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Tools could be configured in the older versions.

Also VMware HCL does not have 2008 R2 listed for ESXi 4.1, could be they've just left it off, as it is listed for ESX 4.1.

It's old, outdated, and no longer supported, I would look at upgrading to a supported platform.
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by:gheist
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It is a good idea to disable all tray icons with sysinternals autoruns.
They use lots of CPU and serve no purpose over RDP
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by:IT_Field_Technician
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Ok I am going to say that this is a non issue and does not need any more of an answer- thanks to everyone for your comments!
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by:IT_Field_Technician
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Thanks
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